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Public spaces opened up for art can be misused

It is indeed a nice idea to bring out the creativity bubbling in the minds of people (Give free rein to art and culture in civic spaces, by Mr Nicholas Goh; April 1).

Being an art lover myself, I can visualise how vibrant and colourful such spaces would be. It would also help in community building and engaging creative minds.

But, at the same time, I can also visualise how such a freedom might be abused.

Recent incidents involving shared bikes, e-scooters and launderettes show how some people lack a sense of civic-mindedness when it comes to sharing and using resources given to them (Airing our dirty linen: Why S'poreans abuse shared assets; March 18).

The rampant littering in public places and the markings on things like children's slides in Housing Board estates would make anyone think twice about opening up spaces like void decks for street art.

I am also concerned that the art could hurt our multicultural and multiracial society, if it offends people. It would be difficult to monitor such art activities and settle disputes that might arise.

We can argue that we can educate people to use such spaces only for art. But if we think about how responsible we have been so far when it comes to public property, the idea may not sit well with many.

Ramamurthy Mahesh Kumar

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 08, 2018, with the headline 'Public spaces opened up for art can be misused'. Print Edition | Subscribe